Thursday, November 26, 2015


No, not the birds...US!!

We once again did our vertically roasted turkey.  Here it is oiled up, seasoned and ready to go into the oven...

...and here it is a little less than one hour later.  YES, ONE HOUR...for a 13.5 lb bird.  All hail the benefits of a vertically roasted turkey!

Turkey, fresh rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, cranberry salsa, and a side plate of roasted Brussels sprouts (didn't fit on this plate, LOL).  

And we still haven't had the homemade pumpkin pie yet...

We think Brisbane and Hobart have the right idea...they have already had a snack of turkey and now a nap is in order!

UPDATE:  Several of you have asked in comments and sent us emails, about how we did the turkey.  We realized that new blog visitors might not have seen the posts before.  We started doing this in 2012, and then every year since.  Instead of redoing it as a new post, click below for links to prior years that we've done it with more detailed instructions.







We'll be having our own small Thanksgiving, cooking up some good food, and sharing with others.  Posts will be sporadic this weekend, unless the weather changes things of course.  This IS Houston after all, it might be nice, it might be a monsoon flood, it might be warm, it might be thing IS for sure, we'll have full tummies!

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, we are truly thankful to call all of you friends...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Today, well tonight actually, as I have to work, we are going to 2nd Man's family for a tradition they like to call Steaksgiving.  

With family members married, having kids, new in-laws, etc, it's hard to get everyone together on Thanksgiving Day because everyone is pulled in other conflicting directions.  So last year, they started a smaller get-together of just immediate family to free everyone up for Thanksgiving Day.  Instead of eating turkey and all the trimmings twice, they decided on steaks with all the trimmings.  Thus Steaksgiving was born!

2nd Man and I are bringing homemade yeast rolls, green beans with bacon and tomatoes, and cranberry salsa.  There will also be potatoes, other sides and of course the star attraction...steaks!  I'll take a picture of the final plate of food and come back later to add to this post when we get back home.

'Cause beef is always good...

UPDATE:  Photos from tonight...

Steaks from the grill, fresh mashed potatoes, green beans with tomatoes and bacon, mac and cheese (for the little guy in the family but of course, don't adults love a little mac and cheese too?), cranberry salsa and yeast rolls...

...and of course, a glass (or two) of wine.  It was a lovely evening, family and food...always a good combination! 

Anyone have any other traditions around or different from regular  Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


So a few months back, I spent a day off going through one of our storage units and got one emptied out.  Some was donated, some of it (broken items) was thrown away and then I brought some things to the farm.  For those that are new to the blog, these are storage units that have some of our stuff in there and then the stuff I inherited from my Mom and Dad.  We had three, and now we're down to one large one and another small one that's almost empty.  It has my Dad's tools, workbench, etc that will go to the barn at the farm soon.

This is a coffee pot with sugar and creamer that belonged to a Great Aunt in my family.  I can't remember off the top of my head the maker but it is very pretty and we'll definitely keep it (and use it) at the farm.

These are Mom had assembled a collection of vintage aluminum-ware.  She had a red tray, twelve cups of varying colors, a yellow pitcher and four long spoons.  We can't wait to use these next Summer for some ice cream floats perhaps? 

This bowl belonged to my grandmother.  It's not in the best shape with a few nicks and chips and the gold trim rubbed off in spots but it's still a neat thing to have.  We think it will make a nice bowl for sitting out on the counter...fresh fruit perhaps?

She also had this old, vintage print.  It's sort of a painting but not an original.  I think these used to be sold in five and dime type stores.  It's pretty and because of the flower themes, it will go great in the guest room at the farm.

So those are a few of our latest bargains, and I say bargains because they were the best kind...FREE because we already had them!

Monday, November 23, 2015


We were recently sent some items to review.  The first of these are eco-friendly wool dryer balls and came to us courtesy of "Double Up Farm".  They are handmade from the wool of their Romney sheep.  

The direct link to them on ETSY is HERE 

You simply toss all three of them into your dryer with your wet clothing and turn it on to your normal setting.

Let them tumble around.  I even caught one on camera through the glass front of our dryer as it was spinning around doing its thing.  

After you are done, you can just leave the in your dryer as we did here, so they are ready for the next load.  This keeps you from forgetting the next time around. 
Double Up Farm All Natural Wool Dryer Balls
They say a set is good for about 500 loads of laundry.  That's about 3 cents per load...definitely much cheaper than buying and throwing away regular sheets.

They come in a package of three in a handmade bag that we'll find another use for as well (we're keeping the balls in the dryer all the time).  We don't like to use fabric softener sheets because they have chemicals and usually a scent that is sometimes off-putting. Double Up Farm will add essential oil scent to these if you wish but they come standard with no scent.  Hmm, come to think of it, a lavender set might be nice for sheets and pillowcases!

We wish there was a way to convey how soft the items were when they came out of the dryer.  Our towels and t-shirts were much softer than they had been before.  It was a noticeable difference.  And if you are wondering if any wool fibers or hairs were released, nope, we had some black dress socks that always seem to attract random fibers and they were free of wool.  No chemicals, no fake smell, and best of all, no waste to throw away when done.  The best of living green!

I'm sure that as we use them week after week in our laundry, they will only makes things softer.  We can't wait to watch (and feel) that happen.  These will definitely be on our list from now on.

So a huge shout out and thank you to DOUBLE UP FARM.  Please stop by their website or their ETSY SHOP and say hello.  And pick up some all natural wool dryer balls, you won't regret it.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Well, after the rains yesterday, and the temps near 80 on Friday, tonight we are plummeting to below freezing for the first time since end of last Winter/early Spring.

Freeze Warning in Houston - Galveston

Active for next 12 hours · 
This alert has been updated.

Freeze Warning expanded now in effect for areas along and north of the Interstate 10 corridor and more rural areas of northern Harris County through 8 AM.
Winds will become calm over most of the region by 9 PM.
Temperatures only reached the mid 50s during the day and calm winds combined with the clear skies will allow temperatures to fall rapidly this evening. By Midnight areas around Conroe may reach freezing and by 3 AM many areas in the warning may fall to freezing. Temperatures will warm back above freezing around 8 AM.
Freeze Warning In Effect From Midnight Tonight to 8 AM CST Monday.
The National Weather Service in Houston/galveston has issued a Freeze Warning, which is in effect from Midnight Tonight to 8 AM CST Monday.
  • Event: freezing temperatures with minimum temperatures falling to between 27 and 32 degrees.
  • Timing: temperatures will fall below freezing between 3 and 5 AM.
  • Impact: A Freeze Warning means Sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely. These conditions will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

But as with all things "HOUSTON WEATHER", we just wait a few days and it changes...sure enough, look at Thanksgiving day...almost 80!!!


Most every Sunday, we try to post an image of old posters that we find during online surfing.  We enjoy the ones that reflect farming, gardening and/or food preservation and rationing.  We enjoy them because we often wonder if anyone today would heed the kind of advice they gave back then...enjoy!

Eat Cabbage, vintage poster courtesy of UK War Archives
This is a fun poster.  It was touting the benefits of cabbage...a salad a day keeps the doctor away.  This one comes from the UK and the WWII Ministry of Food.  With meat, cheese, bacon and eggs in short supply, the ministry of food was tasked with reassuring the public there was plenty of other good, healthy food and of course, this one promoted cabbage and it's health benefits for civilians.

Hope you are having a good weekend.  It's clear today but COLD!  

Update later!

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Thought we'd share a couple of pics from last weekend (our one and only sunny  weekend apparently).

Artax the Horse
Whenever we do go to the farm this weekend, I'm sure we will be joined by these two friends.  Above is 2nd Family's horse, Artax coming over to our fence to see if I had any snacks say hello...and below is her best friend, the neighbor's cow who is named Mona.  She has been coming over to the fence line to visit with Artax since she was a calf.  

Click HERE to see a post we had last year about their friendship.  

Mona the Cow

Not sure we'll make it to the farm today though, sigh.  Here is this morning's radar image.  Rain, some of it heavy, all around the area.  It's another front moving through.  Tomorrow will be clear, so they say, but colder.  Since I ended up mowing last weekend, thank goodness, I still need to get the raised beds prepped for Winter (which, apparently, is coming soon!) and have some edging to do.  We'll see how much gets done.  No more goofing, time to get serious!  Now if only the weather would cooperate...sigh.

Hope you are off to a great start to your weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Saw this in the grocery store and just couldn't resist snapping a couple of pictures.  It's for a Belgian Ale called SHOCK TOP...

Shock Top Ale VW Beetle
I believe this was a contest that you could enter to win.  I thought it was kind of cool to see. 

Some people might not want to drive it but I think it's fun.  Of course, I'm guessing the 'mohawk' would cause issues on the open road, LOL.  I've never seen a car in this color orange, but seeing it in person, it's actually not bad.  If I won it I would drive it! 

Anyway, hope you are having a good Friday.  The weekend is almost here, the weekend before Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Tree stump planter, image via pinterest
We have a few tree stumps around the property, and I've often wondered if they would be better off left alone or if they could perhaps be used as something else.  I would have never thought about this but we love the idea.  Hollowing out the center a bit, adding soil as you would to any container, and the filling it with flowers.  How cool is that?  

In a way, it's the ultimate in recycling.  Now I'm sure that at some point in time it will break down of course, but by then it has served it's purpose, as a tree in life and as home to flowers after. 

Be inspired!